Become a Healing Patch Volunteer

Make a difference in the lives of grieving children and their families

How can you become a Healing Patch volunteer?

If you are interested in making a profound difference by becoming a Healing Patch volunteer, you can apply now or contact Shalen Steinbugl, Volunteer Coordinator/Grief Specialist, at 814-947-7140.

For a printable version of the volunteer application, click here.

If you would like to apply online, click here.

Why are volunteers so essential?

Volunteers are the heart of the Healing Patch. Without them, these free services could not exist for the grieving children and families of our community. It takes a special type of person to absorb the tragic stories children share at the Healing Patch. While volunteers must understand they are unable to “fix” what has happened, volunteers are able to help bring hope and healing back into the life of a child.

Could you be a Healing Patch volunteer?

The qualities that lead an individual to be a volunteer in the first place — compassion, empathy, acceptance of others, flexibility, dedication and commitment — are the same qualities that enable volunteers to support families in their journey through grief.

Healing Patch volunteers must:

  • Be able to interact with people from different ethnic, socioeconomic and religious backgrounds.
  • Be emotionally present and actively listen to people who are dealing with emotional pain.
  • Have compassion for and provide support to grieving families, as well as to fellow volunteers.
  • Be responsible and dependable.
  • Be able to work in teams with other individuals.
  • Participate in and complete volunteer trainings.
  • Be available to participate in most scheduled meetings.
  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Complete TB testing. New volunteers receive comprehensive training and have assistance in obtaining clearances.

What do Healing Patch volunteers do?

Healing Patch volunteers can serve as:

Group Facilitator: 

  • Plan & facilitate group activities/discussions as vehicles for sharing stories & memories, making connections among group members & communicating grief


  • Welcome family members & help with sign-in process
  • Help families settle in for the evening

Food Server:

  • Serve dinner to families & help where needed
  • Package left over food for families to take home

Sewing Projects:

  • Create teddy bears using clothing, pictures or other items that belonged to the person who died
  • Sew together pillowcases that each family creates in memory of their loved one

Special Supportive Roles:

  • Help Healing Patch staff with clerical duties
  • Assist at community events by raising awareness of children’s grief and the Healing Patch program
  • Assist with fundraising efforts
  • Help at special events with child care, registering participants, etc.

From Our Volunteers

Michelle Wysong: "For me, it is most rewarding to see the positive impact this program has on children-it allows them to open up and just be real about how they feel in a safe environment. I also love seeing the connections they make with one another, knowing they are not alone."


Jessica White: “The Healing Patch is an amazing place for families to come together to share time, memories and difficulties with families that are going through the same things. At the Healing Patch the families can share feelings and tears with others who understand 100%. I have had families share that they love coming to Healing Patch because it gives them some place to finally be themselves in their grieving process and not feel judged by others for it. As an adult having gone through losses myself, I am grateful for the experiences and healing I have seen.”


Monica Klatt: "So many of these children come in feeling all alone and like they have no one that ‘understands’, but after going through the program, they make connections with others and realize they are not all alone in their grief. It is rewarding knowing that as a volunteer I had a role in that.”